– ROBERT LONGO
Fascinated by the transient moments of life, Robert Longo creates photorealist works in charcoal capturing the ephemeral height of an object’s existence. Study of Nancy is a part of the artist’s Ophelia series in which he exactingly details a rose in its exquisite beauty in full bloom. The strikingly realistic portrait exhibits his adept skill at shading and drawing; the rose bud unfolds gracefully, each petal peeling back to reveal receding dark depths. The artist employs chiaroscuro to consummate effect, elevating the underprivileged practice of drawing to new heights. In Longo’s own words, he was driven to try “something that wasn’t mainstream…There was painting and sculpture and then there was drawing…They always seemed to be these intimate things, so the idea of elevating drawing to painting scale seemed to be radical…I wanted the works to operate on a really grand scale” (the artist cited in “Working Towards Affection: An Interview with Robert Longo”, Border Crossings, September 2010, pp. 40-41). Bewitchingly alluring, the image of the bloomed rose is simultaneously ominous; its beauty is deadly as the more it blooms, the closer it is to its death. In one image, Longo represents the circuitous phenomena of life. Works by Longo are collected in institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
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